Staying Afloat

Staying+Afloat

Kiana Cox, Journalist

 

Staying Afloat

Being different isn’t a negative figure of speech.

It’s no longer way to mock someone whose skin 

is darker, or who’s hairstyle is culturally significant, 

or whose food doesn’t smell like everyone else’s. 

In my case, and for many other black people 

living in America, we’ve experienced all of the above.

 

Something I learned throughout 2020 is:

Not everyone likes the fact that black people can

stay afloat. Some people would rather have us

drown in our issues then find our way out.

They don’t want to see us thrive.

 

There will be people who say that our life doesn’t

matter, and people who say that our kind doesn’t

deserve justice- even when it’s evident that

the victims were just a sheep in wolves clothing.

 

We are human underneath the criminal that

they see. The way they expect us to dress, speak,

and act shouldn’t define us- and yet it does. Their

perception of a typical black person hurts everyone, 

especially those who don’t fit the stereotype.

 

Because in incidents such as police brutality, 

They always say it’s the victim who was in the

wrong. That it’s the hoodie we might wear

our head, or the AAVE dialect we might use

to communicate, or the braids that might

design our hair that makes a black person

look like a criminal, and yet it’s trendy

and cool when seen on others.

 

No matter how hard we might try to speak out

about how the victim’s life was taken unlawfully,

some people will always resort to bringing up

their past to justify their tragedy- as if death

from $20 can truly be justified. 

 

We are different, and that doesn’t have to be a

bad thing. Because no matter how many times

someone tried to bring us down for who we are

we will still forever be proud of our heritage, 

the progress we made, and continue to fight for 

justice and equality. Here we remain afloat.